The last time we had a presidential race in the sabbatical elections, students voted for a president who ignored the union’s pro-choice mandate and was impeached. This time around, let’s not make the same mistakes. Listen to concerns people raise about candidates’ ability to do their duty as president to the best they can, research their manifestos, and talk to the candidates or members of their campaign team to find out more about them.

The presidential race will be the most divisive and the order of preference you give to candidates while voting down the ballot is going to make a difference. This means you should have a clear idea, not only of who your top choice is for president, but also of your second, third, and fourth choices. Vote down the ballot in a strategic manner, don’t just randomly assign people numbers. If there is a candidate (or candidates) who you think should definitely not be president, put them at the bottom of the list, and you can even put RON ahead of them.

The race for Graduate Officer remains uncontested, again, and the sole person running is the current Graduate Officer whose black and white, ill-designed manifesto makes it look like Niall Torris couldn’t care less about the race, and why should he if he’s the only one in it? The lack of graduate student engagement with the union is the likely cause behind this disinterest in the position of graduate officer, something which is the job of the graduate officer to improve. If a graduate student advisor is brought in then maybe Torris could focus on providing union events and campaigns for graduate students, or maybe the position would just become redundant.

With fourteen candidates running for sabbatical office, it’s anybody’s guess what the union team will look like next year. There’s a wide range of candidates running, some who raise concerning questions.

Is Niall Torris addicted to union positions?

Did John Kerr become pro-choice as a campaign tactic?

Is Barry Murphy re-running for president for the good of the student body or his own ego?

Did Rosaleen Aljohmani use her position as a college officer to profit from the app Circle?

Has Breifne O’Brien made homophobic comments?

Whatever the answers, it is you, the students of UCD, who will decide the next sabbatical team of the SU. Make your choices wisely and vote down the ballot, although if you’re not happy with who you get you can always have them impeached.

If you can’t make up your mind on the day, vote RON for the hell of it.